Feeds

Scareware scammers Rickroll Digg

Bot comment blitz intensifies

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Digg.com has become the latest Web 2.0 service to be abused by hackers in order to punt malware.

More than 500,000 bogus comments have reportedly been posted on the site in order to drive traffic to 15 malware-hosting domains that promote a rogue anti-virus (scareware) package. Panda Security compares the attacks, mounted by miscreants through bogus or compromised legitimate accounts, to Rickrolling.

But instead of being redirected to an innocuous copy of Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up, surfers are induced to download a booby-trapped file disguised as a video codec.

"Malware distributors have been creating false stories with catchy subject lines as an attempt to bait (Rickroll) users into clicking links leading to an infection," explains Panda researcher Sean-Paul Correll. "In some cases the attackers do not create the news story themselves, rather linking to others relevant content."

As well as driving surfers to maliciously constructed domains, the trick also boosts the search engine ranking of hacker-controlled websites. Digg.com’s abuse department has been notified of the attack and the malware domains it seeks to promote.

Security blogger Dancho Danchev adds that the practice of "self-recommendation" incorporated within the Digg attack is reminiscent of an eBay bot attack in 2006, when bogus accounts were used to boost the number of recommendations received by hacker-controlled accounts. The ruse was designed to boost the apparent credibility of fraudulent accounts once they were used to run sham auctions designed to fleece bidders while never delivering any goods.

Over recent weeks both LinkedIn and Twitter have been used to distribute malware in a pattern of abuse that now extends to Digg and shows no signs of dying off. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.